Sunday, May 22, 2016


Anderson was having a very difficult time. Because of the recession, he'd been laid off from his firm, and jobs at his present salary were hard to find. Jobs at low salaries were hard to find. He was able to pay only the minimum on his credit card, and the balance owed had grown to monstrous proportions. His son needed braces, and the insurance company was being stubborn about paying for them. The financial problems were putting a strain on Anderson's marriage. He and his wife were either fighting or not speaking to each other. And as if things weren't bad enough, one of Anderson's wisdom teeth became impacted. It had to be cut out. The insurance would pay for that, but it required surgery. His regular dentist couldn't do it in the office. Anderson wondered how much worse life could get.

And then things suddenly turned around. Anderson's old firm hired him back in a better position with a better salary. He got in touch with a service representative who was willing to work with him on his credit card debt. The insurance finally came through on his son's braces. And his wisdom tooth broke through the gum. It would still have to be removed, but now he could sit in the dentist's chair and have it pulled. As the problems eased, Anderson's marriage improved. Life was good again.

Anderson was a religious man--or considered himself one--and he'd been praying steadily while things seemed so hopeless. But when they improved, he didn't even think that God might have had something to do with it. He was very glad, of course, that life was so much better. But he wasn't grateful--not even enough to say "Thank You."

Nettie was a seventy-year-old widow. She suddenly lost her husband after fifty years. He left some insurance, but he'd also left Nettie a big house, and there wasn't enough money to pay the utilities and maintenance and taxes. Nettie was forced to sell the home she loved and move in with her daughter. But Nettie was grateful for her blessings, and she never stopped thanking God for them.

She counted it a blessing that her husband had gone first, leaving her the one to mourn. After all, he wouldn't even have anyone to move in with. Nettie was grateful that she could help her daughter around the house and with the cooking; grateful that she got to spend time with her grandchildren. Though her health was poor, and her eyesight not good, at least she wasn't in a wheelchair or blind, as a few of her friends were. Another blessing to count.

The fact that Anderson didn't give God thanks didn't mean that God took back His blessings. It did mean that Anderson couldn't know the wonderful joy of praise that had always been so special to Nettie.

Life got better for Nettie. Her lawyer found an annuity her husband had left for her. It wasn't a fortune, but it was enough to give Nettie her own home again. Her health improved. An ophthalmologist operated on her eyes, and her sight was better than it had been in years. She thanked God, not every day, but every hour of every day.

Anderson will take the good things that come his way gladly, as his due. Nettie will accept them gratefully, as proofs of God's love and mercy.  Anderson will live his span of years, happy sometimes, unhappy sometimes, and die hoping for the best. Nettie will live in constant joy, as she gives praise for everything.  She will pass from her earthly life, thanking God for his final blessing here, as she moves into His glorious eternity.

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